THE Conservative Party has unveiled its candidate to challenge Darlington MP Jenny Chapman at next year's general election.

Peter Cuthbertson has thrown down the gauntlet promising to be a "relentess advocate for for a thriving town centre and more job opportunities" if elected.

Mr Cuthbertson was recently selected by the South Durham Conservatives to contest the seat, which has been held by Labour since 1993.

The 31-year-old, currently living and working in London, was born and brought up in Darlington where he attended Hummersknott Academy and the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College.

He has been politically active since his teenage years and is a keen advocate for zero-tolerance policing, having set up the Centre for Crime Prevention, a think-tank campaigning for tougher sentencing for criminals.

Mr Cuthbertson hopes to use his position as MP to push for reforms in that area and to better represent the interests of the private sector and small businesses.

He said: "It's an honour to be able to represent the interests of Darlington as the Parliamentary candidate.

“Darlington is a great place, and the town deserves a strong voice in Parliament.

“MPs like James Wharton show the difference a Conservative voice can make for

the North East.

“We're seeing the North East economy growing, but I want to be a relentless advocate for a thriving town centre and more job opportunities - especially in technology and manufacturing."

An avid supporter of the NHS, Mr Cuthbertson currently works for a healthcare consultancy, though he plans to return to Darlington in the run-up to the elections.

Since 2010, Labour MP Jenny Chapman has represented the town in Parliament. She triumphed with a majority of 3,388.

She said: “I’m pleased that the Darlington Conservatives have at long last found somebody to be their candidate in the town ahead of the elections next May.

“I look forward to debating with Mr Cuthbertson and welcome the fact there is someone prepared to stand for the Conservatives in Darlington.”

Charles Johnson, Chairman of South Durham Conservatives, added: "It is many years since Darlington Conservatives have had the services of a local candidate with such a wealth of experience.

“Peter will represent the town very well."

For more information about Peter Cuthbertson, visit